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By Margeaux Johnson · September 23, 2014
The much anticipated premiere of Gotham aired last night on Fox. As one of the many comic inspired shows hitting the market (see CW’s Flash and the upcoming Dare Devil on Netflix) the pilot episode proved to be as interesting as fans anticipated. One of the potential issues with Gotham was creating an interesting series without solely focusing on Bruce Wayne. The writers nailed it. Bruce is only seen a handful of times and it doesn’t overuse or underuse his relevance to the story.
Gotham opens with a young Bruce Wayne having witnessed the murder of his parents. Det. James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) assures him that he will find his parents’ killer. He also adds that, “…however dark and scary the world might be…there will be light, Bruce.” Too bad Bruce eventually becomes the icon for vengeance and darkness; The Dark Knight. Meanwhile a young Selina Kyle has also witnessed the murder, as she quietly slinks from the rooftops unknowingly laying the groundwork for her turn as Catwoman in the near future.
As Detective Gordon works to solve the case, we meet his (annoying) partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) who’s an alcoholic crooked cop, and Fish Mooney (Jada Pinkett- Smith) who plays an ambitious small time crime boss with an awkward and devoted flunky, Oswald Cobblepot who (currently) hates being called “Penguin” because of the way he walks. Bullock gets a lead on a Mario Pepper and the search is begins. When the detectives reach Pepper’s apartment, they meet his daughter Ivy who is clearly obsessed with plants.
After a few action scenes, Pepper is killed and police find Martha Wayne’s pearls in his apartment. An obvious plant. A relieved Gordon tells Bruce that he’s found his parents' killer but the celebration doesn’t last too long. Cobblepot spills the beans to another police team, Montoya and Allen, that Pepper wasn’t the right guy. Montoya goes to Barbara, Gordon’s beautiful and soft spoken girl, and tells her that Gordon is a crooked cop. Why would she do that you ask? Well, apparently Montoya and Barbara have some history. Yes, the squeaky clean Barbara is hiding something.
Barbara confronts Gordon about the police framing Pepper and Gordon realizes he has been duped. He goes on a mission to find the real culprit and starts with Fish, who doesn’t take too kindly to Gordon being on the right side of the law. Gordon winds up in a meat packing warehouse and Bullock comes to save him. Surprise! Fish is not your friend, and Bullock ends up right next to him. Fish’s boss, Falcone, comes to save them both because he doesn’t agree with killing cops, especially if he didn’t give the order.
Gordon and Bullock are alive, but their relationship will never be the same. Gordon realizes that the whole force is corrupt and he is the lone ranger. How can he find the real killers without being killed by Fish or her goons? He must get to the bottom of this, but first, Falcone has demanded one thing: Gordon has to kill Cobblepot or Bullock must kill them both. Gordon has no choice and makes (what he believes) the right choice by pretending to kill Cobblepot and leaving his body in the river. Of course, a now deranged Cobblepot swims to safety and kills the first person he sees. We all know what comes next. Gordon has a soft spot for Bruce and goes back to tell him that he didn’t get the right guy after all, but he promises to find his parents’ murderer. Bruce, brooding and now vengeful, is happy that the killer is still alive. He has plans for him.
If you’re counting, and I’m sure you are, you may have noticed that a total of three villains were introduced in the first thirty or so minutes of the pilot. To spell it out for you, Catwoman, Penguin and Poison Ivy all make their debut almost as soon as the action starts. The Riddler, currently known as Edward Nygma, also shows up as a forensics tech at the police department. Gotham is a tea kettle full of potential murderers and closet psychos just waiting for the right time to let their freak flags fly. I can’t wait for the boiling point, as it seems that everyone in Gotham is hiding something.